Friday, 2 October 2009 12:00 AM
Regulators at the European Union have suggested the proposed a transatlantic alliance between British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia may break anti-trust legislation.
BA is presently in discussions with Iberia over a potential merger, while talks are also ongoing with American Airlines over a possible link up.
However, a European Commission statement released today revealed it had sent charges to the three companies - a so-called 'statement of objections' - warning all three may violate rules forbidding companies striking deals that shut out rivals.
The Commission argues the charges involve the three airlines' 'oneworld alliance' which shares flights between the European Union and the United States, potentially to the detriment of rival carriers.
There are concerns over the potential dominance of the trio over rotes to Boston, New York, Miami and Dallas.
UK flag-carrier BA and American Airlines have twice tried and failed to secure antitrust immunity to coordinate fares, with Virgin Atlantic and other carrier adamantly opposed to any potential deal.
Both the Star and SkyTeam airline groupings have, however, achieved immunity from anti-trust legislation.